Simon was born and went to school in Gisborne in his early years. His passion for astronomy as a young boy was sparked when his Scottish grandmother came to stay. He remembers how they would lie under the stars on summer nights chatting about moon exploration and space rockets. Years later he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in physics at the University of Auckland, solely going there because there was astrophysics. He has taught science and physics in NZ secondary schools around the country, had the role of Secondary Science Adviser for the Central North Island for 13 years, a National Facilitator and curriculum specialist in Physics and researcher of students' perceptions of science learning, gaining a PhD in 2013. He is currently a lecturer with the Faculty of Education, at the Windermere Campus in Tauranga. Simon lectures in Education, Physics and Science, he co-ordinates the Secondary Teaching Graduate Diploma in Tauranga and is a superviser for Masters and PhD students.
Simon's current research lies in the areas of student voice, student perspectives in secondary and tertiary environments. He is a keen advocate to encourage greater consultation with students in their learning, creating change in classroom culture and empowering both worlds of the learner and teacher. Simon has publicly lectured in astrophysics, nuclear fusion, cosmo-chemistry, the beauty of physics and music, and the physics of surfing.